The Future of Teaching and Learning at The Mico

November 28, 2021 0 comments Dr. Marston Thomas, PhD, JP Categories Updates

TEACHERS ARE the cornerstone of national development. As a result, teacher training must be a high priority for all developing nation states. Over the last 185 years, The Mico, as the lead teacher-training institution in Jamaica, has played a significant role in supporting Jamaica's development. The institution currently trains 30 per cent of all teachers deployed to the education system. This represents the largest annual graduating cohort of teachers in Jamaica.

Systems of education serve to ensure that citizens of a country are prepared to access and/or create jobs which support economic growth and development. Current trends indicate that the Jamaican labour force is in urgent need of customisation so that it is better able to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution. At The Mico, we believe that a 'STEM for all' educational model, similar to that practised in jurisdictions such as Singapore and India, represents a relevant strategy to ensure that more Jamaicans are able to participate in the economies of Industry 4.0 and beyond. Mico's commitment to the STEM agenda is evidenced by its membership on the National STEAM for Growth Task Force. The task force is acting as a catalyst to promote collaboration among the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, key private-sector stakeholders and international partners to create a National STEM Centre.

The National STEM Centre will focus on teacher upskilling as its core strategy. The objective is to ensure that all teachers acquire general STEM skills such as complex problem-solving, critical thinking, design thinking and computational thinking, among others. Plans are in place to ensure that teachers in the specialist STEM areas are consistently able to access professional development opportunities which are designed to build their capacity to implement methodologies which are more effective at making concepts in STEM subjects more accessible. The centre will also operate as a nodal point for international cooperation with other STEM centres such as those in India and the UK through the promotion of STEAM knowledge networks, and serve as a hub for research and development in the teaching and learning of STEM subjects while promoting a national STEM culture.

The Mico's integral role in advancing Jamaica's STEM agenda is evidence of the institution's commitment to ensure that it is responsive to the emerging needs of the education landscape and the wider Jamaican society. It is against this background that we celebrate the 185th anniversary of this noble institution.

ALBERT BENJAMIN
Vice-President, Academic Affairs

This article first appeared in the Sunday Gleaner, November 28, 2021 - Jamaica, as part of a national celebration of The Mico's 185th Anniversary Celebration. From PressReader >